a trend in the Christian gaming market to copy successful secular
games (actually the entire Christian marketplace does this).
It's often a successful strategy as Bibleopoly has proven.
It's essentially a knockoff of Monopoly: the board layout, the
community and chance cards, the layout of the properties, free
parking, go to jail, etc are all there. But it
"christianizes" them. Names are changed, rules are
tweaked or changed, game play is altered to better reflect a
Christian theme, etc.
your are turned off by this or it doesn't matter to you, the game
has shown that this kind of thing can be quite successful.
It's been around for at least eight years and continues to sell
well. And, in fact, the game does manage to be fun. It's
hard to tell if the fun comes from deriving so much from the best
selling board game of all time or because it offers something truly
I found that it was indeed relatively fun, though there is nothing
particularly compelling about playing it over playing
Monopoly. Instead I think its draw is solely based on two
factors: It has easy and familiar game play and it has a
Christian angle to it.
instance, instead of building houses you build one Church. The
first person to build their church wins. Of course, like
Monopoly, you have to own all the properties in a color group before
you can build. The railroads are replaced by four Abyss' but
you'll find the chance and community cards (renamed of course) in
the same slots.
of going to jail you to to Meditation. You still need to roll
the die three times before you can get out. If you roll
doubles three times you get sent to Meditation. If you would
go around "go" (In The Beginning) you don't get to
collect. Sound familiar? It's no accident they called it
Bibleopoly. The creators aren't trying to hide this connection
to Monopoly. They are counting on player's to recognize it.
can you tell I'm a bit turned off by the unoriginal nature of this
game? But it's not all a knockoff. There are some
interesting and original aspects to it. But before I get to
that....when you land on property owned by a player instead of
paying them rent, you give them an offering...<cough>.
the twists to game play allows you to help another to build a
Church. You can also thwart someone's chances by buying up a
property on a color group they are trying to buy but there is a
card that allows you to force a property swap with another
player. While the cooperation aspects of the game are
interesting, the makers clearly realized that some competition was
needed to keep the game interesting. In fact the prime way to
win is to be sure you buy property out from under your
opponents. But the reason for this isn't what you might
expect. Read on to see why.
mentioned above, the key to winning the game is to be the first to
build a church on your property. Here is where the game introduces
some originality. To build the church you start with a
cornerstone. The cornerstone can only be built by helping
another player complete a color group or sitting out for three turns
voluntarily (community service).
you have it. Once someone finishes building a church, everyone
advances to that property and they all celebrate the grand opening
and the owner gives it a name. Game over.
what's the Christian aspects to this game? Well, you get to
make offerings and build a church and to help someone else complete
a color group. The cards sometimes aren't a straight
re-wording of the Monopoly cards. One requires you to recite
John 3:16 or lose a turn. One card has everyone giving you 3
offerings because of your kindness and generosity. That one
sounded backwards to me. The game board has cities found in
the Bible so you get to know their names.
all, as much as it turns me off that such an obvious rip-off of
Monopoly is so well received when more original Christian games
flounder I'll admit that I enjoyed playing Bibleopoly. I
wasn't lots of fun, but it was enjoyable. I presume that since
the game is still doing well that lots of people don't mind the lack
of originality. In fact it's probably the familiarity that
draws them to it.
leads me to think that Christians want the fun found in secular
games but they want to enjoy it in a Christian context. I
don't think Bibleopoly offers much depth in Christian game play (in
fact I think it's rather superficial) but it's reasonably
good fun with a sprinkling of Christian content.
game play makes learning it simply and easy.
It's a knockoff of Monopoly so it's essentially unoriginal.
Not worth buying if you want an original and solid Christian
game. It's still enjoyable to play so if you're looking for an
easy to learn family game that's at least superficially Christian
this one might fit the bill for you.
Pre-Teen to Adult
Sense (CS): 3
Mechanics (GE): 3
Play (GP): 3